SAN RAMON -- A $260 million school facilities bond measure is set to be put on the November ballot when the school board meets next week.
The board has been discussing a facilities bond measure for much of the year and has been united in the need for one. On Tuesday night, the board conducted a "first reading" of a resolution ordering a school bond election, paving the way for a formal vote of approval at its next meeting, on Aug. 7.
"We need to strike while the iron is hot related to the interest on bonds and while costs in construction are low," school board President Greg Marvel said.
If passed by 55 percent of voters, the bond measure would fund 45 school modernization projects, including seismic upgrades, upgrades to electrical and heating and air conditioning systems, technology infrastructure upgrades, security cameras, new classrooms, new stadium bleachers at San Ramon Valley and Monte Vista high schools and a new $31 million elementary school in Dougherty Valley.
The list of projects was drawn up by a citizen's advisory committee and approved by the board in June.
"The facilities list is a needs list, not a wants list," board member Denise Jennison said. "We have some great needs in our district. The only practical way to fund facilities in the state of California is through a bond measure."
A point of discussion Tuesday was whether the measure should allow for a 40-year bond repayment schedule. Bond consultants
"We don't want to encumber the community beyond that on this measure," Jennison said.
If approved, would cost homeowners an estimated at $27.50 per $100,000 of assessed property value, based on a 25-year bond.
San Ramon Valley voters have approved two bond measures in recent years to renovate schools -- a $70 million bond passed in 1998 and a $260 million bond passed in 2002.
With the upcoming presidential election and the governor's tax measures, the ballot in November will be crowded. A citizen's committee, made up of 20 members including Jennison, will form this month to promote the bond measure.
"Our job as a committee is to break through all the noise that is going to be on the ballot and help the community understand the benefit of a bond measure," Jennison said. "The money will be spent only on our local schools."
Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2123. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.